A Chapter by HeyJadeXO

I run for what felt like hours, but in reality, only minutes have elapsed. I can hear the howls and cries from the dogs. As I glance back over my shoulder, I can see the ghostly smoke spilling off of their silhouettes. 


How could they have found me so fast?


 The rain is crashing violently against my face as I struggle to rip through the dark forest. My shoes are sinking into the mud, deeper with every step.


Small, hanging branches from the trees cut effortlessly through my skin, leaving numerous wounds on my arms; they sting as the night air touches them. 


In the distance, I can make out an outline of a fence. I dash towards it as fast as my legs will allow and as I get close, I realize it is surrounding an old, abandoned fairground. 

The tattered remains of once vividly colored tents scream for my attention under the searchlights.

I am praying for this to be the correct starting point. Otherwise, all my efforts will be in vain. My blood is racing through my veins, my pulse louder than my thoughts. 


Would you remember who I am this round? My heart dies a little more each time you don't. Our memories, no one, will take away. I will keep them safe.


I approach the fence, feeling the cold metal against my skin. I press my hands, searching for the perfect link to begin climbing. Bracing my hands, I start moving my feet around, looking for a section to support my footing.


My boots can't seem to find a sturdy spot. I am struggling to keep my steps consistent. Fearing the dogs are starting to close in on me, my adrenaline powers my body over the top.


The council couldn't keep me out this time.

My feet slam into the concrete. I pause for thought and survey my surroundings, looking for a place to hide. I notice the noises from the dogs behind me have stopped.

It's unlike them to give up so fast, but I don't have time to worry about that now.


 Looking around the grim scene of the fairground while trying to return my breathing to a normal pace proves to be harder than I expect.


 The number of tents increased from my last visit.  A small surge of anxiety courses through my body as I ponder how I would ever be able to search them all in time. 


Of all the memories they take away from you, I wish this place would be one of them. The only way to play the game on my terms is to find the gypsy first.


I wonder to myself if this place was ever a source of happiness. A place where a child won a first prize or a couple shared a first kiss. No, this place would never be anything more than a nightmare. 


I frantically search the various tents, each one possessing fewer items than the last. Alcohol bottles, books with worn covers, and old concession machines. All of it is useless junk.


 I keep searching with diligence, checking every chest, cabinet, and table I came across. The rusty trinkets echo as they crash to the floor. An alarm blares in the distance, so I pick up my pace.


The 15-minute warning.


Fear surges through my body as the alarm shatters the silence. I despise that noise; it signifies my countdown beginning. My frustration gets the better of me; I don’t care if anyone or anything was alerted to my presence at this moment. 


 I spotted an old Ferris wheel to my right as I exit the tent. Ivy overran the cars, intertwining itself between the broken bulbs. The fallen, multicolored glass was scouring the ground. It crackles under my feet as I approach the ride entrance.  The cars rock uneasily as the wind picks up. 

Faint marks of paint on the doors suggest the cars had numbers on the front at some point. I imagine this being the moment where you pick out your favorite, but I knew no one would ever get the chance to. 

I stood on the staircase of the ride; it serves as my stage. I struggle to scream over the alarm for the gypsy to show herself.


Fatigue sets in, and I bury my face in my hands. The alarm suddenly stops.


A faint noise of bells drags across the dirt. The sound always seems to entice me, a sweet seduction. I looked up in time to catch a glimpse of the pale, pink train of a dress as it disappeared into the doorway of the tent. This tent was different than the rest, instead of being tattered and worn, the tarp exhibits vivid colors of red, blue, yellow, and green. I can see a warm glow from under the entrance.


  I spring to my feet in a hasty pursuit. A crystal bead curtain accents the entranceway. The warm glow of candlelight is making the glass dance in a way; I can't help but find intoxicating.


As I slide the curtain to one side, I pronounce my footsteps loudly, so she acknowledges my arrival. Her body language suggests she knows I entered the room, but she remains with her back turned. 


I wait in anticipation, my body tense.


The cards are already laid out on the table. A row of three in the back, two in the middle, and three, again, on the bottom row. The yellow condition of the worn paper stands out against the purple, silk tablecloth. 


I watch her reaching to ignite one candle in front of her, but the whole wall of candles synchronizes in the same flame. I swallow hard, feeling the lump that is forming in my throat

I step forward to tell her I've had enough of her cheap parlor tricks. She then speaks to me, "I must advise you to reconsider your presence here, Ares. My word is my bond. You have my word this will be the last time".


Three times, is a charm, isn't it?


I watch as the cards rise from the table into a fast shuffle, one separates and falls to the ground.


The two bodies intertwining in the picture spark my recognition. The lover's tarot card. 


She summons the card to her hand in one swift motion as she says, "Ahh, I see. Very well then, "I must warn you, this game has evolved. Your mistakes will not go unpunished, and failure will not only affect you, but others will suffer. Are you willing to gamble their fate also?"


Others? But how? The rule states alliances are not permitted.


Her question causes my body to freeze. I know what I want to say, but the words won't come out. Her stare pierces through me as I contemplate her statement. 


She waits this time for my answer with intent. Not knowing what is to unfold, I acknowledge her with a nod. A sardonic smile creeps across the woman's face.


She gestures for me to place my hand into hers, her knife cuts into my palm with purpose. My blood pours onto the ground. The lover's tarot card absorbs the blood I spill. The warmth covers my hand, triggering a familiar sick feeling in my stomach. My body lowers itself on the ground, and my vision fades.


The bells from the dress whisper goodbye as she puts distance between us. The game is ready to start. I close my eyes to enjoy my last few minutes of solace before this nightmare introduces itself all over again.


After all, it's my 24th birthday, and I'll spend it how I always do: at the Fairgrounds.

© 2016 HeyJadeXO

Author's Note

Had a couple of constructive reviews and decided to revise a few things !

My Review

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Just a few notes.

Change this....I ran for what felt like hours, but in reality, only mere minutes are elapsing.
To this..........I ran for what felt like hours, but only minutes had elapsed.

Change this.... allow, As I get closer. I realize it is.
To this...........allow, as i get close, I realize it is.

Change this....My blood is racing through my veins. The pulse is louder than my thoughts.
To this..........My blood is racing through my veins, my pulse louder than my thought.

Change this.... I pause for a moment, surveying my surroundings looking for a place to hide.
To this..........I pause for thought, survey my surroundings looking for a place to hide.

Change this.....An alarm started blaring in the distance forcing me to pick up the pace.
To this...........An alarm blares in the distance so i pick up my pace.

Change this...... A wave of fatigue flashes across my body causing me to bury my face in my hands. Suddenly the alarm stopped.
To this.............Fatigue sets in, i bury my face in my hands. The alarm suddenly stops.

Change this.......I wait in anticipation.My body remains motionless.
To this.............I wait in anticipation, my body tense.

Change this......I took a step forward in preparation to tell her I have had enough of her cheap parlor tricks. It is then she speaks to me.
To this............I step forward to tell her i've had enought of her cheap parlor tricks. She then speaks to me

Change this...... I could see the cards begin to rise off of the table into a fast shuffle. One card separates from the deck and falls onto the ground.
To this............I watched as the cards rose off the table into a fast shuffle, one separated and fell to the ground.

Change this.....The lover's tarot card starts to absorb every drop of blood that spills from my body.
To this...........The lover's tarot card absorbs the blood i spill.

Change this...... I let out a small nod.
To this............I acknkowldge with a nod.

I can see the changes you have made to the original and this is vastly improved. Good tightening of sentences have been made. It flows a lot better. The paragraphs ar short and precise - easy on the eye.

Keep it up - i am impressed.


This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 1 Year Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


1 Year Ago

Thanks Mark ! I am trying =]

1 Year Ago

I can see that. Your writing really is coming on in leaps and bounds and it will continue to do so.<.. read more


This was a very riveting chapter! I visualized myself within it from start to finish. The way you described every situation and how you conveyed your emotions was very entertaining. You write like you could be a movie producer in my opinion. I love stories like this where there's a level of tension and uncertainty at the same time. Its like the body and mind suddenly gets in sync the moment things get serious. This was a excellent read for me. Take care and keep writing. :)

Posted 3 Months Ago

First off, I LOVE the imagery you paint. I can see the forest, the mud, the fence. I hear the dogs, even feel the branches in my face. Well done. I also love the questions that are raised. Why was the narrator being chased? What's the deal with the gypsy? What the heck are these fairgrounds anyway? Great hook! I'm definitely reading the next chapters to find out.

Before I offer any suggestions, let me point out I am very far from an expert writer (as you'll probably see if read my writings), so please take what I say with more than a grain or two of salt. I only offer them for your consideration.

One thing I found a bit detracting was how many "I"s there were. Perhaps it might help enhance the panicked/chaotic mood in the beginning with fewer "I"s and fewer sentences. For example, the first paragraph could read:

"I feel like I've been running for hours, but in reality, only minutes have elapsed. Hearing the howls and cries from the dogs, I glanced back over my shoulder to see the ghostly smoke spilling off of their silhouettes."

Again, not an expert. Apply much salt. Ultimately, if after reading you're honestly happy with it, then it's good. :)

At any rate, it looks like the start to a great story. Looking forward to reading the rest of it.

Posted 11 Months Ago

So far amazing I'm going to keep reading

Posted 11 Months Ago

Really enjoyed your opening chapter. you set the hook well and I will read more.
Nice set up of anticipation, didn't rush the story. Good balance of description and movement of character.
Richie b.

Posted 1 Year Ago

I liked this very much. The imagery is persuasive and the structure pulled me in.
One minor constructive criticism: you mix the past and present tense together in several places.
I look forward to reading the next chapter.

Posted 1 Year Ago

Hmmm...I read Mark's review...
I like your interplay on words very makes you feel like your on a pinnacle..of something..but what..and when I fall and if I fall...
Will I be able to fly?
Or will I crash to the ground..
That's exactly what I like about your writing..
Inspires wonder..
An incredible ability as a writer...
Well done and worded

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

Thank you Debbie thats very sweet of you !
You've got a real knack for narrative and I like the way the world unfolds. There's a real flow to your writing and its the kind of thing I aspire to myself 👍 hope you don't mind if I take a few notes with an occasional review in return.

Definitely going to keep reading regardless! And I can definitely see work of this caliber on a library shelf 👍

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

Thank you I appreciate that !
Man, what an introduction. This immediately grabs you and pulls you in, wanting to know more. The descriptions are vividly painted and the emotions/feelings of Ares are the most well done. The overall suspense and eeriness provide a dense atmosphere, one you use effectively. Thank you for sharing! I enjoyed the mystery created here and am intrigued for the rest of the story.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

Thank you for reading ! I hope you enjoy the rest equally =]
Jack Necron (Aubrey Jack Peaslee)

1 Year Ago

You are welcome and I'm sure I will!
I really enjoyed the suspense. I think this first chapter sets the story up nicely, and I look forward to reading more.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

Thanks for checking it out !
So, your writing is way better than mine, that's for damn sure. I'm actually scanning this to try and figure out your technique. While not a lot is given away, it builds the suspense, and I LOVE suspense.

My friend is big into her tarot, the bit with the gypsy woman kind of put me in a 'if david lynch made cardcaptors' moment, very surreal in my brain, but that's just my reading experience atm :)

it was very much a running start and you stuck the landing. it just gets in there with the journey, adding this sense of urgency with ease.

wish I could add more than my general reading experience but you're way ahead of me and it looks like you edit with the advice previously given so I get to enjoy the polished version. lucky me :)

would love to get your opinion on a short piece I wrote.

here's a link.

this was a good read, I'm gonna have to come back and check out the rest in due time :)

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

Thank you for taking the time to read. Im really glad you enjoyed it. Lol brand new to writing so I .. read more

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43 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on September 22, 2016
Last Updated on December 2, 2016



West Haven, CT

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